Ive had Peach and most other Tweakbench vsti on my hdd for years, sitting there waiting for me to rescue her, but sadly my princess was in another castle. By which I mean, other instruments drew my interest.
Then one day I pulled up the princess of mushrooms, and really listened to her sing. She sang a Zelda dungeon melody that became the basis for one of my best tracks, all of a sudden! :D Then it became apparent that the ol' Floating Lady had some real pipes :P.
I admit that I prejudged her for her wavetables; I'd previously delegated them to second-class status, unfairly, for their inherent sound-control limitation. But Ive come to believe that working inside set parameters, with set-in-wave sounds, inspires in its own way. Esquisite Corpse can breed more interesting images than a blank canvas :P
Its important to note that the NES and its sounds shaped who I am, without games like Zelda and Dragon Quest I don't know if I would have the imagination I do now, so I am a biased reviewer, I admit :P Because Peach brings back the memories...
GUI-10/10, simplify simplify, dont need more than an ADSR, pan and volume, the crunch is icing on the cake.
Sound-10/10 its got all the nostalgia-induction I ever wanted
Features- 9/10 I docked a point, just because it would be nice to be able to add more wavesets, but the ones it has are pretty much the whole kit and kaboodle
Documentation- um im gonna leave that one blank, it doesnt really NEED documentation and the publisher site provides what little may be necessary
Presets- 10/10 sorta, cuz it doesnt really have presets, but the wavesets are plenty
Customer Support 10/10 cuz Tweakbench, ehs a real cool guy and doesnt afraid of anything (and seems like a good person, one who deserves a beer on me)
Value of course 10, and stability 10/10 just like ALL TB plugs, the thing is rock solid and hasnt so much as hinted at a crackle.
Ive found myself using Peach more and more, in fact in my recent work Harmonica I was having trouble finding a good lead instrument, and went through all my commercial vstis (spent 6 hrs just on Surge to no avail)... Then for $#!ts and giggles I loaded up Peach, and she fit like she was made for it. Id link but thats html and it would be removed, if you want to hear my work with Peach visit my soundcloud, its slash-mudpeople or find me on the forum, its in my signature.
Tweakbench FOREVER, long live the mushroom king!Read Review
This can serve as a general review of Tweakbench products, as well as a review, specifically, of Rebar, which for reasons I can't quite explain is my favorite of the bunch. Tweakbench plugins--effects and synths--are diverse, inventive, simple to use, great-sounding, and free. They all have a similar GUI, one that I absolutely love--clear, distinctive, and uncluttered; and Tweakbench is a one-man operation with great customer service.
Rebar is basically a metallic-sounding drone synth. That's it, really. But there are three things that make it really distinctive--the ability to draw your own waves (a new feature in the last couple versions), a "warp" panel, and a "delay" panel. The warp panel is a two-axis control that affects (I think) pitch and perhaps some kind of filter...the delay axes are for delay time and feedback. You can assign the cc's for these panels to a control surface, or the beam thingy on the Alesis controllers, or sliders, or whatever...the results are creepy, squiggly little grinding sounds...really cool and distinctive.
Tweakbench synths are one-trick ponies, and as a result I end up using them more than any other VST's I have. They do specific things in a characteristic way, and never fail to do those things. Most TB sounds could probably be reproduced on a full-featured synth or effects unit, but not with the same immediacy and fun--the simplest of them are like the Casios of the VST world. Others--especially some of the effects--really are unique and unreproduceable elsewhere.
Anyway, Rebar is awesome--there's no conceivable reason for you not to download it immediately.Read Review
This plugin is great for visualising your filter tweaks, and allows for much more hands-on control than envelopes, especially for live playing. It can be used ever so subtly, or it can transform your sound into a glitchy monster, largely dependent of how trigger-happy you are, and what you feed into it. In terms of support you wont find much better in the realm of freeware, as Tweakbench has his forum right here at KVR, and is quick to respond to questions or problems. What i appreciate most though, is how consistent his plugins are. Every one has a matching interface, responds as you'd expect, and apparantly tries to incorporate much the same controls, which only adds to ease-of-use. With the updated controls, editing the bars with your mouse is now much easier than it was before. Try as i might, i've not been able to make it crash, nor any Tweakbench plugin, for that matter. The only let-down (in my eyes, being a preset-monkey) is that it's lacking in presets. I'd like to call attention to TB's request for user-patches, as he acknowledges that there aren't enough.Read Review
USER INTERFACE: Yes, it has a VERY SIMPLE user interface... you have what, like seven knobs? And you're thinking... that's it? Yes, it is... BUT THERE IS MORE UNDERNEATH THE SURFACE!!
SOUND: and I quote "toad is a drumkit based on the classic nintendo entertainment system. excellent quality percussive bits are here in abundance.version 1.1 adds a new graphical interface, and several performance enhancements." If you are trying to figure out where the studio drum kits are... there aren't any... okay? This DOES faithfully recreate all those NES and some SNES drum sounds... (and little extras like the little Ninendo beep... )
FEATURES: Rather simplistic in this area... WYSIWYG... but definately adequate for the job
DOCUMENTATION: If you need documentation to run this thing... I feel for you... I really do...
PRESETS: Okay... you open up the plugin and see zero (0) presets.... WHERE ARE THEY!!?!?!? You scream... take out your midi keyboard and open up the piano roll... Voila! Nintendo drum sounds extending the full 88 keys!!! (none of them repeated I might add...)
CUSTOMER SUPPORT: Never needed it...
VALUE FOR MONEY: erm... it's...free...
STABILITY: um... it doesn't crash... is it even possible for this tiny thing to crash? *no answer* that's right... it doesn't crash...Read Review
If you need chiptune goodness you cannot do without this plug! Triforce actually does sound like a Nintendo right smack in your sequencer. The basic Triangle, Square, Sine, and Noise channels are all there. Implementing the sounds into useful riffs is ridiculously easy due to the implemented arpeggiator and portamento. This feature is even further expanded by the useful range and timing knobs. To keep the sounds juicy and lofi, the coarse knobs are your best friend. By tweaking them the sounds will range from crystaline to rusted mud, whatever you want or seek in your nostalgia driven quest. The real kicker is the pulsewidth knob for the square channel, which adds a true aural flavor that'll really bring back those NES days to your ears. And last but certainly not least, the GUI is perfect in it's minimalist no-nonsense approach. Very easy on the eyes and pixel space.
If I were to request some sort of upgrade to this wonderful plug, it would be nice to see some sort of VRC6 , VRC7, or especially FME7 implementation in the form of the ability to load in a small sample and have it instantly lo-fi'ed to sound like a NES game sample, then perhaps have it modulate the normal sound generators to form a unique sequenceable sound.
Regardless, this is a fantastic plug, and for free, it really is a -must own-. Aaron certainly out-did himself with this one. Bravo!Read Review
This was the first plug I ever tried by Tweakbench, and to this day, it's still my favorite. Pudding will take any audio you feed it and mutilate it and spit it back in your face and sneer and jeer at you. Amazingly, most of the time you'll enjoy what it spat upon you. The primary ability of this plug is of course it's granular shredding power. Don't expect Pudding to make pretty things, it hates to do that. It likes to take pretty things and make them weird dangerous things to excite your tracks.
Pudding allows complete control over all aspects of the grains, such as pitch, length, window, grain rate, etc. Due to this magnificent control you can really manipulate the sonic palette till you have just what you want. Or, if you're a lazy bastard like me, you'll love the Random button, which'll either create a great stream of grains or blow your monitors up (watch those levels!).
There are a lot of self proclaimed "extreme effects" out there, but this is one plug that's not only extreme, but actually useful. And that's why it's still sitting on my harddrive. Anyone can make a plug that implodes and discombobulates audio, but to enable that output to be a truly useful affair takes talent. With plugs like Pudding, Aaron shows he's of the latter league.Read Review
This little synth is great for doing exactly what it says on the tin...and that also happened to be exactly what i was looking for, but then i discovered the noise osc/arp combo, that, when automating the time parameter, sounded just f***ing daaaaycent. Especially over lashing 180bpm breaks and fat jungle bass.....like something aphex would use if he were a poor and talentless swine as i..... to be quite honest, that combo kept me entertained for a very long time. i felt that this little synth will remain in my folder for a bit. (the parallel drum plug in, Toad, rocks, but ill get to that later i hope.) All this needs is a little distortion, for me, anyway, and im entertained. The GUI i really liked, didnt come off as SE-basic-ish at all at all at all. Simple, very self-explanatory, functional, and cute. Sounds quite 8 bit phat, which i have tendencies toward, mind, and the arpeggiator really is something above average...so simple yet so insane, and the polyrhythms of two triforces both independently automated is just f***ing great!Read Review
This is a great freebie. Most of the presets sound like wind or string instruments. It is a very pleasant calm sounding synth, but you could probably get some more harsh sounds out of it too. More presets would be nice, but the ones provided are a good start. The interface is nice, clean and simple. If you know your way around, you'll figure it out in no time. Beginners should have a good time learning a bit about making sounds too.
I don't know if a good way to judge a new instrument is by how usable presets are that were created by using the randomization button are, but Padawan's are great. It came up with some nice wind sounds synths, to one that sounded like someone mumble-singing in the shower to someone making gun sounds with their mouth.
So if you are looking for nice, airy pads, download Padawna. This is another great, usefull product from Tweakbench.Read Review